Recipes for Brand-Name Liqueurs

Bailey's Irish Creme®


And an obligatory Bailey's recipe:

This takes about a month to mellow out, and needs to reside in the dark recesses of your fridge in a non-metallic container. No straining or filtering; just age and bottle.

Additions, to taste:


[From Classic Liqueurs by Long & Kibbey]

First, Long & Kibbey have a few things to say about this recipe. Mostly, they had a devil of a time getting a good Galliano taste-alike, a fact well testified in the complexity of this recipe. But they also discovered that things just didn't work right if they used straight 80-proof vodka. They found things worked best if you used grain alcohol, but that 100-proof vodka worked passably well. See the bottom of the recipe for how much water and vodka to use for 100-proof vodka rather than grain.

Put angelica, connamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla bean in medium saucepan, add water. Heat to boil, remove from heat. Stand 15 seconds. Then pour through wire-mesh strainer, lined with a coffee filter, into a bowl. (It's important to work quickly or the spices will impart too strong a color and taste to the liquid.) Hold on to the vanilla bean, discard the other spices.

Rinse saucepan and pour liquid back into it. Add vanilla bean and sugar. Heat to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Add lemon juice, extracts, and alcohol, stirring to combine. Pour into aging container. Cap, and age in a cool, dark place for 1 week.

Then strain through a cloth bag set in a wire-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Repeat until desired clarity is reached. Stir in glycerine and food coloring. Bottle, seal, age for 3 to 6 months.

*Note: if using 100-proof vodka instead of pure grain, use 3 cups vodka and reduce water to 1 cup. 80-proof vodka just doesn't work.

Grand Marnier®

[From Classic Liqueurs by Long & Kibbey]

Grand Orange-Cognac Liqueur

Place zest and sugar in a small bowl. Mash together with the back of a wooden spoon or pestle. Continue until sugar is absorbed into zest. Place in aging container. Add cognac. Stir, cap and age in a cool, dark place 2 to 3 months. Shake monthly.

After initial aging, strain and filter. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cap and age 3 months more before serving.

[1] Seville oranges produce the authentic taste but any type of orange peel/zest may be used with good results.


[From an old family recipe]

Mix sugar, water, coffee together and bring to slow boil. Turn heat down and simmer 1 hour. Remove heat, cover liquid with plastic wrap. Let sit for 12 hours, then remove wrap (it will pick up film from the top). Add vodka and vanilla, stir well. Bottle in dark bottles.

Notes:, Yield 3 quarts. Drinkable immediately, but turns bitter with time. We usually make a half-batch because it's so darn big.

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